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How to Have the Best Baltimore Staycation | Summer 2021

Desperately need a vacation, but don’t have the time or budget to get away? Or maybe you’re just not ready to travel? Enter the staycation! What’s a staycation? Staycation comes from the combination of two words, “stay” and “vacation,” literally staying at home and participating in leisure activities without leaving your house, or at least without traveling too far. If you’re into the idea of a staycation this year but aren’t sure what to do, we’ve created a list with a few staycation ideas that will help you make the best of your time.

But, before we get started, many people think that staying close to home or staying at home cannot consider a holiday, but this is not true at all! Staycations are a type of holiday and are extremely useful when one has a tight budget, or when travel restrictions are in place. Considered your staycation like a proper vacation: disconnect your phone, don’t set up your alarm clock, don’t bother reading office news. And make sure you treat yourself to experiences you would gladly make also if you were abroad.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are some of our best tips for creating a truly fun, relaxing, and memorable staycation:
  1. Play the Role of a B-more Tourist

Photo: Audrey's Art for the Ages

Baltimore is home to over 200 neighborhoods, each with their own personality and experience. If there’s one you haven’t spent enough time exploring, go check it out! Try one of the many authentic Italian cafes and eateries in Little Italy, take a cake decorating class at Charm City Cakes in Remington, or enjoy the green spaces and architecture of Roland Park.
Baltimore also has some of the best museums in the country, but when was the last time you actually got to visit one of them? Check out the largest Henri Matisse collection in the world at the Baltimore Museum of Art, challenge the notion of what it means to be an artist at the American Visionary Art Museum, or celebrate the soul of African American history and culture at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.
  1. Go on a Local Hike

Photo: sonna-like-donna no Alltrails.com

Within just a few miles of Baltimore, outdoor lovers can find forests, lakes, canyons, and more! Hiking near Baltimore is a wonderful way to experience nature and get your blood flowing without traveling too far from home. Some of our favorite nearby trails include the Merryman’s Mill Trail at Loch Raven Reservoir, the Falling Branch Trail to Kilgore Falls, and Ellicott City’s Trolley Trail.
  1. Book a Spa Day

Photo: @FourSeasonsHotelBaltimore on Facebook

If you’re looking for something luxurious and pampering, book a sol-to-go treatment at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore. Your moment of relaxation will begin with a 60-minute Swedish massage, then you can indulge yourself poolside with a complimentary 3-hour pass at the hotel’s outdoor rooftop infinity pool. If you’re looking for a bit of pampering that’s a bit more budget-friendly, About Faces offers an incredible range of services and has multiple locations throughout Baltimore!
  1. Have a Picnic in the Park

Photo: @CharmCityPicnic.co on Facebook

Services like Charm City Picnic will do the heavy work of planning your picnic for you! You just pick your location, package and add-ons and they will take care of the rest so all you have to do is show up. Of course, you can always go the old-school, money-saving route and do it yourself. There are tons of great picnic spots in Baltimore.
  1. Spend a Night in a Hotel

Photo: @ivyhotelbaltimore on Facebook

Let’s face it: part of the fun of a vacation is staying in a hotel. Just because you’re not leaving your hometown for your staycation doesn’t mean you can’t book a hotel room for a night or two. Whether you’re looking for luxury amenities like an infinity hot tub, limo service, or a rooftop bar, these Baltimore hotels are sure to deliver.
  1. Visit an Amusement Park

Photo: @SixFlagsAmerica on Facebook

There are several great amusement parks, like Six Flags and Adventure Park USA in MD or very nearby. There are also great water parks to help you beat the heat while enjoying water slides, private cabana rentals, lazy rivers and more. For an ultra-local, family-friendly experience, head to the Mount Vernon Children’s Park for some splash pad time!
  1. Hit the Beach

Photo: @OceanCity on Facebook

One of the many perks of living in Maryland is easy access to the beach. And even if you don’t want to make a week of it, a day trip to Ocean City, Maryland is totally doable for Baltimore residents! Do some fishing, treat yourself to some Boardwalk Fries and salt water taffy, or hit a few balls at one of OC’s many mini golf courses. Of course, you can always pack your own snacks and umbrella and just enjoy the day sunbathing, building castles and splashing in the waves.

There are also many great smaller, more local beaches new Baltimore so you can still enjoy the sun and sand while avoiding the travel, crowds, and costs of OC.
  1. Hit the Pool

If you’re looking for some water fun, you obviously don’t have to travel all the way to the beach or water park! Lucky for you, you can always enjoy a day at 500 Park’s community pool!
  1. Host a Movie Night

Photo: @grandrotunda on Facebook

Have a movie marathon at home, whether it’s just for yourself or open to friends and family. Make sure to complete your movie night is with snacks, of course! You can also catch classic films and family favorites on the big screen at these outdoor movie spots in Baltimore.
  1. Treat Yourself

Photo: @PrigelFamilyCreamery on Facebook

Did you know there’s such a thing as an Ice Cream Trail? The 2021 Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail features 10 on-farm creameries across the state that produce and sell their ice cream directly to consumers. The trail stretches more than 290 miles from Washington County in the west to Worcester County in the east. The purpose of the trail is to increase the public’s understanding of dairy farming and to highlight the important contributions of Maryland’s 325 dairy farms.

We hope these ideas have given you some inspiration for your own Baltimore staycation. Remember: just because you’re not traveling abroad or maybe even leaving the house doesn’t mean you’re not on vacation! Remember to unplug, relax, and indulge the same way you would during a traditional vacation.